Grand Master Marshall Dixsonbey’s I.D.C. MMA Fight League struck back – IN A BIG WAY – this past Saturday night at the sprawling, luxuriant Masonic Temple in the heart of beautiful downtown Detroit. There was a veritable plethora of the Metro area’s toughest fighters, representing camps like Stars and Strikes MMA, My Tactical Advantage, Cooper’s Gym, Master Bey’s I.D.C. MMA, Team Tubbs, James Lee’s MASH Fight Team, Eastside Four Aces MMA, Academy of Soo Do Thai, Team Capital Punishment, Fuse MMA, Hamtramck Main Event Gym, Southwest Fight Club, Kollide MMA, Team Cage Rage, and Eric Moon’s MoonStalkers. Fans came out in FORCE to see all of their favorite fighters in action, and they were AMPED. After EASILY one of the sweetest, most soulful renditions of our National Anthem we have ever heard, performed by one of the female warriors for the evening, Anitra Rice, the action got underway.
It was fireworks from the very start as My Tactical Advantage’s debuting Greg “The Hammer” Mathis took on Cooper’s Gym’s Sultan Harper, who was also making his first cage appearance. The first round was a NICE display of standup and footwork, with Mathis appearing to have a slight advantage. Going in to the second round, the two locked up early, and Sultan got the takedown, and unloaded with some excellent ground and pound, while Mathis managed to defend the onslaught nicely. Round three was another non-stop exchange, both standing and on the mat. After the regulation time limit had expired, the judges unanimously concluded that Sultan Harper would emerge victorious in his debut fight, with all three judges scoring the contest 29-28 in his favor. The third fight of the night was an exciting battle in the female division featuring Hamtramck Main Event Gym’s Maria “Young Phoenix” Putman facing the Academy of Soo Do Thai’s Anitra “The Vice” Rice (who was also the acclaimed Anthem singer mentioned above). In the first round, both ladies showed great heart and some VERY even boxing and standup. The second round featured a whole lot more great work on the feet, and later in the round, the fight went down, where Maria was able to dish out some ground and pound. At the start of round three, Putman exploded out of the gate in hopes of an early finish in the round, but Anitra was able to push through some heavy punishment. The fight hit the canvas again, with Anitra in dominant position this time. She seized the opportunity and opened up with the hands, raining down leather until the referee had seen enough, calling a halt to the contest and awarding Anitra the TKO victory. The sixth fight on the card was a grinding Lightweight WAR featuring Eric Moon’s MoonStalkers’ Brent “The Master” Winekoff taking on Cooper’s Gym’s Moe “Ali” Al-Shatri. This was as exciting as a bout can be, with skill sets VERY well matched. There was some SPECTACULAR boxing and footwork by both warriors throughout both the first and second rounds, with Moe appearing to have a slight advantage. In the third round, Winekoff landed a HARD takedown, and started unloading the ground and pound. During the assault, Moe saw a momentary opportunity, isolated an arm and switched his hips for a TIGHT armbar, forcing Winekoff to concede this crowd-pleasing battle. Fight number eight of the night was a fast paced battle of the Flyweights that ended up going the distance. I.D.C. MMA’s Josh “The Thrilla” Cuillia faced Hamtramck Main Event Gym’s Usama “Young Lion” Abdul-Rockmon for three exciting, crowd-hyping rounds. The first round was a frenetic battle, with Cuillia exhibiting good position control and ground and pound, while Usama defended nicely. In the second round, there was an early takedown by Ciullia, but Usamah was able to work the fight right back to the feet, where the two went to work for a very close remainder of the round. Round three was largely spent on the ground, with a simply impressive series of sweeps and transitions by both fighters, as well as some good ground striking. After it was all said and done, all three judges ended up unanimously scoring the contest 29-28 in the favor of Josh Cuillia after an amazing three round display by both fighters. The tenth fight was yet another GRUELING battle that went all the way to the cards, this time pitting I.D.C. MMA’s Timothy “Rambo” Shoots against Cooper’s Gym’s Enrique “Ricky” Garcia. This ENTIRE fight had “impressive” written all over it, with both fighters displaying a TON of great clinch work, including many, many knees and some great dirty boxing, as well as some excellent sweeps and ground defense throughout the ENTIRE fight, start to finish. After the time limit ran out, the judges had the difficult task of choosing a victor in this AMAZINGLY CLOSE fight. After the scores were all tallied up, the RAZOR CLOSE decision victory was granted to Enrique “Ricky” Garcia for his impressive efforts in this fight. Starting with the twelfth fight of the night, it was now time for some GOLD to be contested. The first title fight of the night was a Bantamweight belt battle featuring Team Capital Punishment’s Mustafa “The Rebel” Jordan squaring up against Cooper’s Gym’s James Park. The fight started quick with a brief striking exchange, followed by a clinch, with some good knees and punches exchanged. Mustafa hit a takedown, but Park reversed the position immediately. Mustafa was able to make it back up to the feet, but James took him right back down. After some great ground control and damage by James, he was trying to finish with an armlock. Mustafa kicked Park in the head (who was down) and put his foot on James’ throat, and referee Vance Swerdan knocked it away and gave him verbal warning. Mustafa placed his foot right back on James’ trachea, ignoring the warning, and “Vicious” Vance pulled the plug and ended the match via disqualification due to flagrant disregard of the referee’s instructions. The NEW I.D.C. Bantamweight badboy to beat is Mr. James Park, who earned that strap with an impressive fight! The next beautiful belt to be up for grabs was the Welterweight title, in a battle featuring two cage-seasoned warriors, I.D.C. MMA’s Martinez “The Tank” Bradley and Team Tubbs’ “Trigger” Trey Suthers. As the two combatants took the center, The hands were let go IMMEDIATELY, and “Trigger” Trey got off the first shot and planted it right on the button, sending Bradley to the canvas, and ending the match with a NICE KO, becoming the NEW I.D.C. 170 pound champion. In the Lightweight division, it was time for Roland “The Chief” Saucedo to defend his I.D.C. strap against Team Cage Rage’s always ready, always game Russell “The Ruckus” Campbell. The pace from the start of this fight was EXPLOSIVE, with the two warriors engaging immediately and clinching up. Russell sunk a HARD takedown, Roland worked back up. Russell pulled off ANOTHER devastating takedown, and AGAIN, Roland was able to come up. As Campbell went for another shot, Roland caught the neck and sank in a DEEP guillotine for the tap and the win at only THIRTY-FOUR seconds in the first and final round, retaining his 155 pound crown in yet another impressive title defense. The Super Heavyweight championship belt was on the line as Team Tubbs’ defending champ Lamar “The Abomination” Foster faced the UNDEFEATED Michael “Chaos” Hooper. For a couple of VERY large combatants, the pace of this fight was off the chain. Both warriors came out trying to finish early. Lamar’s striking experience was evident in this one, while Hooper pushed through some early damage. The two cliched, and there was pummeling for position and some dirty boxing. Foster got the takedown and got a dominant position, then unloaded a barrage of fists, forcing a stop to the fight at just past the two minute mark in the very first round by BRUTAL ground and pound TKO, keeping the title belt firmly around his waist. In the MAIN EVENT of the evening, the I.D.C. Featherweight championship was at stake as Stars and Strikes MMA’s Sean “Gator” Dunn squared off against the defending champ, I.D.C. MMA’s Marcus “Icemane” Wheeler. The two very experienced combatants came out looking CRISP and collected, pushing the pace without pause. Dunn was in great form in this showdown, doing a great job of controlling the tempo of the fight, both on the feet and the mat. Marcus fought valiantly as well, and in the very final seconds of the first round, with Dunn partially on Icemane’s back, Marcus threw an elbow strike, which was explained at the fighters meeting as being an instant disqualification, with zero tolerance. Vance Swerdan was right on top of it, and called a halt to the action just as the round was ending. And as an honorable martial artist does, Master Bey fully agreed with the stoppage, even though it was his own student on the receiving end of the DQ. In Wheeler’s defense…any one who trains knows that there is a thing called “muscle memory”, and when you work a technique in the gym, in the heat of battle…you know the rest. We’ve seen Marcus fight enough times to know that he is NOT a dirty fighter. Congratulations to NEW 145 champion Sean “Gator” Dunn, who is now the man to beat in the I.D.C. Featherweight class! And as ALWAYS, congratulations to each and every fighter and trainer that put in the work in the years, months and days leading up to this highly successful event.
The EXCELLENT crew that made it all happen were a Grade-A group of experienced and familiar faces, starting with the leader of the pack, Grand Master Bey. This is a man that DEFINES a TRUE lifetime martial artist, with all of the moral and ethical values that come with formal martial arts. Since the day we met Master Bey, we have been thoroughly impressed with his honor and dedication, both to the sport AND the fighters! And he doesn’t think twice about spending the extra money to do all of the special things that the fighters appreciate, and to provide the best staff possible! Medals and plaques for ALL the fighters, and now, the I.D.C. Hall of Fame. The Hall of Fame is for those special warriors who pass through the door of the I.D.C., win a title, then make the move to PRO. And the FIRST EVER inductee into the Hall of Fame was Adam “The Beast” Gibson, who held the I.D.C. Middleweight title, then made his pro debut at the Impact Fight League’s February 18th pro show at the Palace. Adam was formally awarded a BEAUTIFUL crystal trophy for his achievement. Congrats, Adam, on the induction AND for making the pro leap! Referees for this event were a duo of well-known Michigan pros, the uber-experienced Vicious one, Vance Swerdan and Eric “The Monster” Moon, assisted outside the cage by Bubba MacKenzie and Mr. Doug Gallegos. Working the cage door on Vaseline patrol was yet another of the Great Lake States’ top pros, Drew “All Day” Morais. The panel of judges (in rotation) were Sam Crawford, Ann Morrell, Tonya King, Nick Frania, along with FightMichigan’s own, Shannon Hale and T.J. Corwin, with Shannon doubling up on stopwatch duty. The man wielding the golden mic was our good friend Pete Trevino Jr., who kept the info flowing and the crowd knowing! Backing him up on the turntables was local emcee and legend, DJ Danny D. The matchmaking for the event was in the very capable hands of two of Michigan’s most distinguished gentlemen, Al Cooper and Master Bey. The combat enclosure (cage) was provided by Michigan Combat League’s promoter Jake “Superman” Short’s cage rental company, Caged Animal Productions. Still photography for the event was shot by Michigan Combat Photography’s Chris Rabior. Our buddy Izzy Quintanilla was in the house repping himself and MI Entertainment, providing the best, most affordable gear around. A special shout out to the Oscar “Big Ox” Brown and the WORLD-CLASS guys and gals from Cooper’s Gym for helping keep things coordinated masterfully and the Masonic Temple’s security, for providing stability and control, which is paramount at ANY event. Great job, y’all! Well folks, if you were one of the unfortunate ones who couldn’t make it out this time, do not despair, for the I.D.C. will be back in the Temple ONCE AGAIN on April 21st, with even BIGGER and BETTER things, so be sure to save the date, and check our “Upcoming Events” page often, so you don’t miss a single detail! Until the next the time, here are your results…